1017 K Sat 11 May 2002
I think instituted lectors are an ignored part of the discussions
about celibacy for priests in the Roman Catholic Church. I have
been reading Archbishop Pell's Mandatory Celibacy, (which I found
out about from Catholic-pages.com/forum). Part of it is:
... I vividly recall a very senior Dutch prelate recounting
to me how he phoned a parish to offer to say Mass there at the
weekend when the parish priest was to be absent. He was told
by the lay leader that his visit was not necessary as they would
be having a lay-led communion service. ...
Archbishop Pell would not allow the ministry of the priest to
be sidetracked in this way. But what about the ministry of an
instituted lector, to do the first reading? Despite my
Tribunal case there does not seem to be much concern about other
lay people doing this when an instituted lector is available.
Archbishop Pell also wrote:
... In probably all the English-speaking countries there is
strong support for a married clergy among both the laity and
many of the clergy themselves. ...
If there really is this strong support, why is there so little
support for "married ministers" (i.e. "married
I guess most people are unaware of instituted lectors. But
more people should be promoting the ministry of instituted
lector, which does not have mandatory celibacy.
Following on from my last journal entry,
I found another reference by the Pope to instituted ministers
in Novo Millennio Ineunte, n. 46:
... Together with the ordained ministry, other ministries,
whether formally instituted or simply recognized, can flourish
for the good of the whole community, sustaining it in all its
many needs: from catechesis to liturgy, from the education of
the young to the widest array of charitable works. ...
It does not mention lectors, but at least it is something
about instituted ministers.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 11 May 2002.